macOS 10.13.4 update breaks Duet Display, Air Display & USB DisplayLink drivers

Posted:
in macOS
Apple's recent macOS 10.13.4 update is causing some havoc among people using screen extenders like Duet Display and Air Display, as well as USB DisplayLink-connected monitors.




"Installing macOS release Version 10.13.4 will cause Duet Display stop functioning after the OS upgrade," the app's developer said in a support article. "We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in 10.13.3."

Duet Display and Avotron's Air Display lets Mac owners turn an iPad into a secondary display. Items viewed on the iPad support touch interactions, and users can even simulate the MacBook Pro's Touch Bar for extra control.

"We are actively looking into workarounds so that Duet is not affected by the macOS bug, and will keep you informed," the Duet Display support article continues.

Avatron, the makers of Air Display report similar problems.

Air Display users: Please don't update your host Mac to macOS 10.13.4. It introduces severe WindowServer bugs that crash most inelegantly when you connect to a virtual monitor like Air Display (or its competitors). 10.13.3 still works fine. Hopefully Apple will fix 10.13.4 soon.

— Avatron Software (@Avatron)


Issues are also serious with DisplayLink peripherals like some docks and USB monitors, as installing macOS 10.13.4 may cause them to go black. Secondary features such as sound and Ethernet connections should continue to work, as they are based on USB features baked into the protocol.

"We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in 10.13.3," DisplayLink said, echoing Duet's statements.

As a workaround, downloading DisplayLink 4.3 drivers should at least enable using screens on clone mode, though mirror and extended modes are still broken. "Cloning" simply duplicates the main screen resolution without any display controls, though it will scale or letterbox as needed.

Both display extenders using an iPad and the DisplayLink products relied on unsupported workarounds to function in macOS. Apple performed a great deal of work on the graphics in macOS 10.13.4 to implement eGPU technologies, so it stands to reason the problems are related to that effort.

Similar problems, related to Apple's Metal platform, were encountered with DisplayLink in macOS 10.12 Sierra. These included window server crashes, and corrupted or missing graphics in some apps and interface elements. Those issues were ultimately resolved with the release of macOS 10.13.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 927member
    Yep. Broke my Duet's functionality. Note, if you contact them they do have a workaround.
  • Reply 2 of 31
    magman1979magman1979 Posts: 1,131member
    Oh FFS, these developers need to hold themselves accountable here! These changes to WindowServer have been there since the first beta of 10.13.4, and it is not a BUG as these asshats are proclaiming, but rather an architectural change, and these developers just sat on their hands and did nothing for the entire beta cycle, and now when it goes live, they claim it's an "Apple bug", bullshit!

    Everyone loves to pass the buck these days and just be lazy it seems...
    roundaboutnowkpommacseekerkingofsomewherehotimergingenioustdknoxjahblade
  • Reply 3 of 31
    The money quote:

    "Both display extenders using an iPad and the DisplayLink products relied on unsupported workarounds to function in macOS."

    That really tells me all I need to know.
    roundaboutnowmagman1979kingofsomewherehotimergingeniousargonautesummers
  • Reply 4 of 31
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,354member
    Oh FFS, these developers need to hold themselves accountable here! These changes to WindowServer have been there since the first beta of 10.13.4, and it is not a BUG as these asshats are proclaiming, but rather an architectural change, and these developers just sat on their hands and did nothing for the entire beta cycle, and now when it goes live, they claim it's an "Apple bug", bullshit!

    Everyone loves to pass the buck these days and just be lazy it seems...
    This was my first reaction too. Where are these product makers when the betas come out? If I was in the mac peripheral or software biz, I'd have someone on the payroll to do nothing but handle the beta testing. 

    And your closing conclusion is not hyperbole. My workday is full of "this isn't my job" kind of things. It isn't laziness as much as it is predictable economic forces. What me to assist? Pay me.
    edited April 2018 magman1979imergingeniousjahblade
  • Reply 5 of 31
    And how about a warning BEFORE the update is released and I have a problem. If it was a known problem in the BETA than let us know that there is a potential problem and not to update until they can verify how it will work in the final release. I wouldn't be surprised if there is not some sort of Apple rule against this but they figured out a workaround to make their app work, they should be able to figure out a way to notify their users.
    magman1979imergingeniouskruegdudejahblade
  • Reply 6 of 31
    argwallaceargwallace Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I contacted the developer of DuetDisplay during the Beta and the response was that they don't support unreleased software. So in the least, they knew it was going to break. As another poster mentioned, they do have an update that does allow me to connect under 10.13.4. Still has a few bugs but it does connect. I do think developers should have been more on top of this in the first place though.
    magman1979
  • Reply 7 of 31
    Dave CummingsDave Cummings Posts: 13unconfirmed, member
    That's not surprising with Duet Display.  I tried it for a short time as a Cintiq type thing for my iPad and I ended up getting my money back because the whole thing was always buggy as hell.
    magman1979
  • Reply 8 of 31
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 529member
    eightzero said:
    Oh FFS, these developers need to hold themselves accountable here! These changes to WindowServer have been there since the first beta of 10.13.4, and it is not a BUG as these asshats are proclaiming, but rather an architectural change, and these developers just sat on their hands and did nothing for the entire beta cycle, and now when it goes live, they claim it's an "Apple bug", bullshit!

    Everyone loves to pass the buck these days and just be lazy it seems...
    This was my first reaction too. Where are these product makers when the betas come out? If I was in the mac peripheral or software biz, I'd have someone on the payroll to do nothing but handle the beta testing. 

    And your closing conclusion is not hyperbole. My workday is full of "this isn't my job" kind of things. It isn't laziness as much as it is predictable economic forces. What me to assist? Pay me.
    To be fair, DisplayLink has had an active thread or two on their support forums regarding the Beta, and there was a fair bit of back-and-forth between one of their developers and several of us who were participating in the beta program. That isn't to say that DisplayLink didn't ultimately blame this on Apple and comment how they hope Apple will fix this in a forthcoming update...

    Unfortunately, for me, it renders my MBP less usable on days when I go in to the office as my company has installed Targus USB docks in most of the workspaces with dual monitors connected. Best I can do is unplug one of those monitors and plug it in to my DisplayPort with a DVI adapter. As a developer, having multiple monitors is pretty much a must so this isn't ideal, but it works. I seriously hope someone comes up with a fix for this, otherwise I may have to start using my company-provided laptop (the DisplayLink drivers still work under Linux, at least).
  • Reply 9 of 31
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,468member
    And how about a warning BEFORE the update is released and I have a problem. If it was a known problem in the BETA than let us know that there is a potential problem and not to update until they can verify how it will work in the final release. I wouldn't be surprised if there is not some sort of Apple rule against this but they figured out a workaround to make their app work, they should be able to figure out a way to notify their users.

    You may be onto something. They may not have been _allowed_ to say anything until the release was final. If so, this silly policy is a major disservice to end users! If this is indeed an official policy, Apple needs to revisit it and revise it. But then again, the Public Beta testing phase does give end users the opportunity to find and report these problems, too. So maybe that is their solution to the NDA that developers are held to?

    If it is an official Apple-introduced "bug", they should be able to point us to a Bug Tracker report, or at least mention its reference number. 
  • Reply 10 of 31
    wiseywisey Posts: 25member
    Thank you for this article.  I use Duet so that my iPad Pro 12.9” can be a second screen for my MacBook Pro 15”.  I will hold off upgrading my MacOS.  I don’t see anything on this upgrade of the OS that is more important that support for the Duet.    

    Some commenters here suggest that it is the software maker’s fault that Apple changed their operating system.  It is a two-way street, in my opinion.  Both sides have to work with each other.  The fact that no other display program is able to work suggests that the problem lies with Apple.  Apple should have know that this was happening and the fact that they provide no warning to users and did not work with the software makers to fix this problem is not a good sign.  Why did they change the interface?  Are they replacing it with anything that is good for the users?  

    In my opinion, Apple needs to look carefully at its Mac OS team and change some attitude(s).  If Apple is willing to harm four companies that write software for Mac with one OS change of questionable value, they need to stop and rethink what they are doing?  What did they change in their OS software that warrants establishing a destructive relationship with their software developers?  Worse, why are they issuing this release without warning users,  I saw few commentaries on this subject before this article.  Perhaps they could have held off issuing the change until Duet and other companies have a chance to fix their Apps.    
    deepinsider
  • Reply 11 of 31
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,544member
    Although not the same sort of thing as Duet Display, I did use X-Mirage (haven’t tested Reflector 2) on my 10.13.4 MBP last night (with the iPhone running 11.3) to AirPlay the iPhone’s display to a big-screen TV (it was connected to the Mac via HDMI, not Apple TV in this case) and it all worked without a hitch.
  • Reply 12 of 31
    camccamc Posts: 27member
    ...not to mention the severe issues with iTunes libraries: with mine resulting "corrupted" twice in just two days. :-(
  • Reply 13 of 31
    ktappektappe Posts: 763member
    I contacted the developer of DuetDisplay during the Beta and the response was that they don't support unreleased software. So in the least, they knew it was going to break.
    What a crappy response. Ok, maybe they thought you were Apple calling to test if they were honoring the NDA. But still, it's not a customer-friendly response, especially when you were doing them a favor by calling and reporting the problem.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    wisey said:
    Thank you for this article.  I use Duet so that my iPad Pro 12.9” can be a second screen for my MacBook Pro 15”.  I will hold off upgrading my MacOS.  I don’t see anything on this upgrade of the OS that is more important that support for the Duet.    

    Some commenters here suggest that it is the software maker’s fault that Apple changed their operating system.  It is a two-way street, in my opinion.  Both sides have to work with each other.  The fact that no other display program is able to work suggests that the problem lies with Apple.  Apple should have know that this was happening and the fact that they provide no warning to users and did not work with the software makers to fix this problem is not a good sign.  Why did they change the interface?  Are they replacing it with anything that is good for the users?  
    From the article: "Both display extenders using an iPad and the DisplayLink products relied on unsupported workarounds to function in macOS. Apple performed a great deal of work on the graphics in macOS 10.13.4 to implement eGPU technologies, so it stands to reason the problems are related to that effort."

    Yeah. This is on the vendors in this case.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 15 of 31
    I JUST bought a Plugable Thunderbolt 3 DisplayLink dock for my 15" MBP to drive two 4k monitors. Normally I wouldn't think twice about keeping my system at the very latest version, but now I'm holding off to see what happens. I might just stick with 10.13.3 for a long time!
  • Reply 16 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,604administrator
    I JUST bought a Plugable Thunderbolt 3 DisplayLink dock for my 15" MBP to drive two 4k monitors. Normally I wouldn't think twice about keeping my system at the very latest version, but now I'm holding off to see what happens. I might just stick with 10.13.3 for a long time!
    The Plugable TB3 dock doesn't use the drivers in question. No Thunderbolt 3 dock does. Docks not using the DisplayMate drivers are unaffected.

    You'll be fine.
    edited April 2018 tdknox
  • Reply 17 of 31
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    Oh FFS, these developers need to hold themselves accountable here! These changes to WindowServer have been there since the first beta of 10.13.4, and it is not a BUG as these asshats are proclaiming, but rather an architectural change, and these developers just sat on their hands and did nothing for the entire beta cycle, and now when it goes live, they claim it's an "Apple bug", bullshit!

    Everyone loves to pass the buck these days and just be lazy it seems...
    It’s one of my pet peeves to read developers excuses for their lack of testing, bugs and inability to handle Apples architecture because it doesn’t match their way of thinking. I’d be embarrassed to admit I wasn’t able to design a solution or provide proper testing if I were them. And yes, I’m a software developer. 
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 18 of 31
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
     Best I can do is unplug one of those monitors and plug it in to my DisplayPort with a DVI adapter. 
    If they are recent Dell monitors, there's a good chance they have native Display Ports on them and a few even have two.  If so, you can chain monitors with Display Port.  

    Also the recent generations of MacBook Pro's should be able to drive two monitors directly.  If you have two Thunderbolt ports you have two Display Ports too.  
  • Reply 19 of 31
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    Apple still needs to do a better job at external monitor support.  It's really sad the first computer (Mac) that could have multiple GUI displays, that handled different sizes and even some being color and some being B&W back in the 90's has such poor and inconsistent multi-monitor support today with macOS.  I have a couple of presentation computers that rely on having the internal display and two external displays and it's always a crap shoot on what the next macOS update will bring to the table.  I'm on Sierra on those machines because the new window manager in High Sierra is still mostly a hot mess.  

    With their new focus on eGPU support maybe some of this stuff will finally get addressed.  The UI for the displays system preferences, for example, are just beyond ugly and cumbersome.  I get where having individual settings windows makes sense for when you have all the monitors in front of you, but instead of a "gather windows" button how about a button that shows all the monitors, resolutions and refresh rates in a handy grid on the primary display for easy editing.  On my presentation computers one of the outputs is a monitor at the rear of a room facing a stage that is not easy to see from where the presentation computer is.  

    Oh yeah, speaking of weird window manager bugs - even in Sierra for whatever reason if I command-tab on one of my presentation Mac's the icons to cycle through with command-tab show on the third monitor instead of my primary monitor with the menu bar.  No rhyme or reason and I haven't been able to get them back on the primary display.  Makes the command-tab feature a lot less useful since it's on that stage display monitor not really visible from the presentation Mac. 

    It feels to me like multi-display support has been an afterthought for a long time now. Here's to hoping between the new eGPU focus and the new window manager this stuff gets cleaned up. 
  • Reply 20 of 31
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,313member
    It’s one of my pet peeves to read developers excuses for their lack of testing, bugs and inability to handle Apples architecture because it doesn’t match their way of thinking.
    Meh - I think this is more on Apple.  External display support just isn't a focus for them.  Hasn't been for a long time now :( 

    Just like their lack of enthusiasm for gaming, despite the overwhelming success of gaming and how important it obviously is on iOS.  

    This is the major downside to having only one really provider of hardware and software solutions for Mac's - if it's an area Apple isn't really that interested in focusing on, your screwed and pretty much have no choice but to resort to work arounds to be successful in spite of them.

    I love how everyone is quick to blame lazy developers.  How about if Apple provided some API support so people didn't have to resort to work arounds?  Why is it only the 3rd party developers fault?  
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